Tour Colombia 2:1 arrives in Bogotá

Pro cyclists will descend on the Séptima as the Tour Colombia 2:1 cycling event literally rolls into town on Sunday afternoon.

Every Sunday sees the roads close for cycling in Bogotá, but it’s a little different this week. Alongside the regular recreational riders on Ciclovía, the proper professional peloton will be whizzing through the streets on their way to the Museo Nacional in the city centre. It’s the end of the Tour Colombia 2:1 race which started on Tuesday.

In the morning, the riders will depart Sopó on a gruelling trek to the city, taking in 138.7km through Cundinamarcan hills and arriving around 1-1.30pm in the heart of the capital. With three categorised climbs along the way there will be plenty of action for mountain points and a breakaway is likely to succeed.

If you want to check out the action, recommended places to watch would be anywhere along the Séptima as they come into the city, especially the Parque Nacional or Museo Nacional area. The first riders will likely arrive somewhere around 1pm, depending on average speed throughout the race.

Tour Colombia 2:1 in the Parque Nacional, Bogotá
Crowds at the 2020 edition of the race in the Parque Nacional, Bogotá

If you’re in the countryside, it’s well worth getting to the roadside along the La Calera-Bogotá or Sopó-La Calera route, especially by the peaks at Los Patios and Arepas. From Bogotá, the roads will shut early, so bear that in mind if you’re thinking about leaving the city.

A lot of top Europe-based pros eschew Colombia for cash-grabs in states such as Qatar for the initial races in the cycling calendar, which is a shame. There’s unlikely to ever be the same support for the sport there, whereas Colombia has one of the world’s most passionate and knowledgeable cycling fanbases.

That’s started to change in recent years. Colombia Oro y Paz got things rolling and now the Tour Colombia 2:1 now attracts top international teams such as Movistar, Astana, and EF Education and famous riders such as Ecuadorian pair Richard Carapaz and Jonathan Caicedo or Manxman Mark Cavendish. 

Richard Carapaz winning at Vino de Alto in the Tour Colombia 2:1
Richard Carapaz won at Alto de Vino. Photo courtesy of Tour Colombia 2:1

There’s also a plethora of local stars, with Egan Bernal the standout. On Friday, Colombia’s first ever Tour de France champion faced the very same stretch of road where he had a horrific crash in 2021. It was an emotional stage in his hometown of Zipaquirá. Elsewhere are the evergreen Rigo Urán, smiley Esteban Chavés, and sprinter Fernando Gaviría

The race so far has been interesting. The grand depart from Paipa started a trip through prime cycling country in Boyacá and onto Cundinamarca, dancing around the edges of Bogotá. Every year the race chooses a different part of the country to focus on. With so many mountains, they’re spoilt for choice, so this is the first time in Bogotá since the successful 2020 edition.

Saturday’s stage saw Carapaz (EF Education) storm to victory atop the Alto de Vino to the northwest of Bogotá while local lad Rodrigo Contreras (Nu Colombia) hung on for grim death to make sure the race lead stayed in Cundinamarqués hands. Barring any unforeseen trouble, Contreras will finish tomorrow as champion.

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